Suicide rates increase in NZ and the BOP

Judge Deborah Marshall says it’s up to everyone to provide support and offer hope.

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Provisional suicide statistics released by the Chief Coroner Judge shows the suicide rate has increased in the last year.

In the 2017/18 year the rate was 13.67 deaths per 100,000 people; that has increased to 13.93 in 2018/19.

In the year to 30 June, 685 people died by suicide, compared to 668 the year before - an increase of 17 deaths by suicide.

“I extend my condolences to the families and friends of those who died by suicide in the past year,” Judge Deborah Marshall.

“We acknowledge the pain many communities are feeling as a result.”

There was an increase in the number of young people dying by suicide, particularly in the 15-19 age range (up from 53 to 73) and the 20-24 age range (from 76 to 91). Both rates increased from 16.88 to 23.14 and from 21.21 to 26.87 respectively.

There was also an increase in the Maori and Pacific Island suicide rate. The Maori suicide rate increased from 23.72 to 28.23 (142 to 169 deaths), and the Pacific Island rate from 7.77 to 11.49 deaths per 100,000 people (23 to 34 deaths). There was a drop in the European rate though, from 13.94 to 13.46 (down from 462 to 446 deaths).

“The reasons people make this decision are numerous and depend on many factors: their early life experiences at home and at school, their employment status, their mental health, their economic and health status, their sense of belonging, their sense of purpose, their worldview and more.”

In the Bay of Plenty, a total of 36 people committed suicide in the 2018/2019 period. Six up compared to the previous year.

Since 2007, 41 has been the highest numbers of suicides in the Bay of Plenty to date. The lowest was 20 and that was back in 2007.

“It’s up to all of us to look out for our family, friends and neighbours – to ask how they’re going and coping with pressures in life, and offer our support, to offer hope.

“Because there is hope. I’m encouraged by the suicide prevention initiatives taking place, the conversations people are having, and the success stories of individuals who battled with suicidal thoughts but have come through stronger the other side.

“We mourn those who died by suicide, but for those listening who are in the midst of pain, suicide doesn’t have to be how your story ends.  The truth is there is always another option, there are people you can speak to, there’s something more to live for.”

In an attempt to try and curb the rising suicide stats, Snapfitness Papamoa owner Chris Shearer and club manager Sara Duncan are running a six week challenge at the gym.

They are warning to raise money for the I Am Hope Charity, as well as doing a Walk for Awareness.

“We did a little bit of fundraising for them when they first launched earlier this year with the Gumboot Friday. We managed to raise just under $1500, which was awesome, a real community drive.

“The six-week challenge is a really good opportunity for people to take control of their physical and mental well-being, create some long lasting healthy habits and their day-to-day lifestyle to set them up for a better general day-to-day life.”

Read more here.

Where to get help:

Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7) or text 4202

Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)

Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email

What's Up: online chat (3pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 helpline (12pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-11pm weekends)

Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7)

Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254


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1 Comment
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Good on them..

Posted on 27-08-2019 14:17 | By Glenn Holmes

What approachable coaches they are. Just great to know that many others care ..a lot.